This week, we’ve been discussing how truth is stranger than fiction, and I’ve told you about the odd circumstances of moving into as well as out of the Craigslist House. In keeping with that theme, for today’s Throwback Thursday, I’ll tell you about a few of the other places I’ve lived in my life and the one weird thing that keeps happening.
Once, when my daughter was very small, she and I got an apartment in Tampa. It was in a nice neighborhood, and at the time, it was a fairly new apartment building. The building was three stories high, and we lived on the second floor.
One day, I took my daughter to her babysitter’s house, and I went to work. By the time I got home late that night, it had been a long day, and I was tired and just wanted to feed Stefani her dinner and get to bed. I should stress here that when I got out of the car and went up the outside steps to my apartment, nothing seemed wrong. There was no handyman in sight, and there was no note on my door. I suspected nothing. So when we went inside, we were completely alarmed to find that our bathroom was gone! The entire ceiling from the unit above ours had apparently flooded and caved in, and had sat there all day causing my bathroom to then cave into the unit below! To this day, I have no idea why no one had called the property manager before I did. Stefani and I moved out that very night.
Fast forward a couple of years. My son was born, and he and my daughter and I lived in a duplex. The kids and I were out one evening, and when we came home, I smelled smoke. I explored the house and saw flames shooting out from under my refrigerator! I called the fire department, and they came right out and determined that something was bad in the wiring, so they unplugged the ‘fridge and wheeled it out to the front porch, saying it was unsafe. While they were there, they said they needed to do a home inspection. Everything checked out, except in the family room they found a few drops of water in a light bulb that was in the center of the ceiling. They told me to have my landlord check it out right away and cautioned me not to use the light until the roof was checked for leaks.
My landlord at the time was quite intimidating (and she looked an awful lot like the bad witch in The Wizard of Oz). And I was young, so I didn’t have the courage to speak up and complain very much. I told her about the refrigerator and the watery light bulb, and she said she’d get around to it. Then she did nothing for two weeks. And in that time, I, being young and timid, called only once more to give her a “gentle reminder” that I was still waiting and that I needed a refrigerator for my baby’s formula. During that time, it rained a lot, and the light bulb completely filled with water so I didn’t use the light in that room. Finally, the landlord replaced the refrigerator and said she’d get someone back to look at the roof another day.
A few more days passed and we had more rain. (It’s Florida, so torrential downpours are common, especially during the summer.) I was out shopping one day with my kids and came home that evening after dark. But when I walked to the kitchen to put away my groceries, I smelled something funny. I turned on the light and found that the entire ceiling of the family room had fallen out and the smell was wet drywall! Wet drywall covered every inch of floor, not to mention the furniture and electronics in that room. Stefani, Jeremy, and I moved out that very night.
Fast forward several more years. At the place where I currently live, there is a six inch hole in my ceiling that my landlord won’t fix. The air conditioner was installed wrong and was not insulated (so, essentially I was air conditioning the attic!), and condensation was building up around the pipes and dripping through. My ex-husband kindly repaired the air conditioner in exchange for food, but he couldn’t keep his temper in check long enough for me to get him to repair the ceiling. Meanwhile, we discovered a small leak in the roof, and the landlord did come out to take care of that problem… by putting a garbage can in my attic to catch the water! (Yes, really!)
The house is pretty nice (other than the gaping hole in the living room ceiling pictured above), so I really don’t want to have to move again anytime soon, and knowing what kinds of landlords are out there, this one actually isn’t as bad as what I’ve had. (Better the devil you know, ya know?) So, one day, I’m sure I’ll meet someone who will be willing to repair my ceiling in exchange for food or photography or something. (I refuse to put money into fixing my landlord’s house on principle.)
But again I ask, if you read about a woman who lived in three separate homes in three separate cities where the roofs all caved in, would you find it plausible or would you think the author was stretching things? (I sure would!) What’s been the weirdest characteristic about anyplace you’ve ever lived?